The staff at Studio Fusion invites kids and adults of all skill levels to dance and get in shape in a sprawling 6,000-square-foot space with four studios, two of which have Marley sprung floors to soften dancers' landings. The team of dance instructors includes choreographers and backup dancers to the stars, as well as two former members of the Laker Girls.
The experienced crew helps pre-cheerleaders build strength and flexibility during tumbling classes, and teaches beginning and advanced ballet and hip-hop moves to kids and teens. The multidisciplinary fitness program offers just as much variety, including the ballet-based movements of Barre Fusion, Bikini Boot Camp toning sessions, and kickboxing- and tai-chi-based Turbo Kick classes.
The space has been designed with a cozy student lounge with WiFi and a gourmet coffee bar, allowing youngsters to work on homework or their investment portfolios and parents to chat. In addition to annual dance recitals, the studio hosts dance and musical-theater camps. The Broadway Kids program hones the skills children need to be a triple threat—dancing, singing, and juggling three smartphones at once.
For centuries, lovebirds have toured Venice's picturesque canals on gondola rides. And since 2006, couples have headed out onto the calm waters of Huntington Harbor aboard the same iconic Venetian boats, courtesy of Sunset Gondolas. To recreate the Italian experience as thoroughly as possible, the company's fleet is made up entirely of gondolas imported from Italy?and is the only company in Southern California with that distinction. Moreover, their gondoliers sport traditional striped shirt, and serenade passengers upon request. What's more, they're experts at their craft. Two of the boatswains have won the US Gondola Nationals for their skill in the authentic, 37-foot boats?Bepi, who won in 2012, and Stefano, who won in 2013.
Despite their prowess, however, the gondoliers often blend into the background during rides, letting the California scenery take center stage. From their seats, couples or convivial groups drink in views of the area's Venetian-style islands, canals, and bridges, all while snacking on picnic spreads and wine they brought along, or the chocolate-dipped strawberries provided in some packages. The gondoliers can tailor the rides to special occasions, too, including proposals and wedding ceremonies.
Yoga Shakti Wellness Center's director, Diana Pipaloff, has unwavering confidence in her instructors' abilities. It's appropriate, because most of them learned their practice at the center. Their 500-hour training program, which includes post-graduate mentorships and internships, equips graduates with Yoga Alliance registration. Once trained, a select few of these yogis begin work at Yoga Shakti Wellness Center's locations in Irvine and Huntington Beach.
At each location, students stretch and breathe during more than 10 types of yoga classes. Shakti yoga, the center's flagship style, leads participants in combining sun salutations, poses, and energy work to move toward increasing their physical and spiritual strength. Other options from the more than 100 classes offered each week include prenatal yoga and gentle yoga, which elucidates yoga's foundational poses and philosophy.
However, the staff isn't super-glued to their yoga mats. They also teach ayurveda, a lifestyle that combines dietary changes with massage, meditation, and other purification therapies.
The instructors at Seventh Chakra Yoga view their teachings as a pressure valve through which students can release life's tensions. As artists, pastors, and community leaders, they have come from diverse backgrounds to imbue the studio with a uniform aura of positivity. The studio specializes in Kundalini yoga and meditation through breathing techniqes, sound and gong therapy and mantra healing. They don't acknowledge higher or lower levels of yoga experience in their pupils, preferring to focus on self-improvement over competition, and draw from several modalities to plan their classes. Their inviting approach helps guests to realize connections between mind and body, which can minimize stress and give the brain a break while the liver takes over for a while. The instructors also lead kids yoga, prenatal yoga, and chair yoga.
In addition to classes that encompass postures and meditation, the staff leads sessions for expectant mothers, children, and aspiring Kundalini teachers. They can also transport their lessons outside of the studio, visiting offices to improve at-work wellness and planning scenic retreats to India.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
As the owner of Artistic Painting Studio, Jennifer Ferguson teaches others how to spruce up their living spaces with decorative painting. But she doesn't confine her skills to the classroom. Over the course of her artistic career, she's broadcast her brushstrokes as a guest on The Carol Duvall Show on HGTV. At her own studio, the four-time author shares her techniques during classes along with her fellow trained and certified instructors. They elucidate the finer points of stenciling and faux-finishing surfaces such as keepsake boxes, walls, and airport landing strips. To inspire students, Jennifer keeps idea books on hand and emblazons her studio walls and floors with examples of ornate work. She also produces her own line of stencils at The Stenciled Garden.